We’re Not in the Business of Warehousing Paper
Graduating MFA Students on Their Thesis Projects

The Stanford Department of Art & Art History presents We’re Not in the Business of Warehousing Paper, a group exhibition featuring the works of five graduating art practice MFA students. The exhibition will be on view until June 14th, 2015 at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery.

Lauren A. Toomer on Figures in the Ground (Chroma Series)

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“I want my paintings on the floor.” I stated this as I unrolled four canvases across the gallery tile. Titled Figures in Ground (Chroma Series) I painted life size figures on a stark white canvas. Each flat and blended mark was combined to create the illusion of a foreground, background and believable representation of a person. My work addresses the idea that sometimes what is perceived as “depth” is nothing but a superficial “flat” impression.

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How we view the body is historically reliant on the simple measure of looking. In turn, this type of “seeing” never reveals the full picture and is effected by social regulations. These resulting communal codes instruct us not to stare at people—especially, in the incorrect place. Arguably, it also encourages one not to place a mostly white paintings on the floor. Yet, truly being immersive is not something that happens when we accept the norm and take people or anything at face value. This experience occurs when we disengage from the readymade understanding of societies cultural fabrication.

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P.S. I drew on the wall too…

Einat Imber on Tidal Cyanotypes and Untitled (Boat)

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The work I make serves as a reminder of the constant journey we all partake in and the ones we long for. It takes an hour and a half for the rising tide water to cover the span of an eighteen foot long strip of burlap, coated with a thin layer of photo-sensitive cyanotype emulsion. As the tide advances, the cloth disappears underwater, leaving less and less surface exposed to the sun and creating a natural gradation from pale light to deep dark blue. These prints are at once both solar and lunar, the result of my collaboration with the orbiting celestial bodies – sun, moon and earth.

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From the same starting point — the rough, woven burlap — I folded a three-dimensional boat. Instead of fingers folding paper, I used my whole body, following the instructions with a huge piece of burlap. The result looks fragile, absurd, bound to capsize and sink. But rather than a weakness, the homemade engineering is where the boat draws its strength, affirming precisely that you, too, can make one at home. Do it yourself and play a part in the collective desire to set sail to new shores.

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Felicita Norris on Not White EnoughThank you for the worthless day., and Mama’s Boy

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Dear Diary,

Ah, the final thesis exhibition at the Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery; not only a mouthful, but in some ways, a bitter-sweet experience I’m sure, for all of us graduating MFAs in the Art Practice program. I came in and I will leave as a painter, currently reflecting on the two years that have flown by very much at something like the speed of light, scrambling to figure out what’s next; let’s just say procrastination played a role in preparation for the final leg of my journey… The act of choosing what pieces would best represent my time at Stanford and what work would, in some ways, define my continued path as I’m ushered off into the great unknown, was a little more than nerve-wracking. When I finally figured out “what paintings,” deciding how they should hang in the gallery became something of a circus; the director and I were moving paintings back and forth like a three-dimensional slide puzzle, bringing in and taking out freshly painted pieces, even after the show was open to the public, only added to my confusion. Yet somehow, the experience made me both contemplative and nostalgic; hanging the final piece was a confirmation of a kind of beginning of an end; maybe that’s why I was resisting? Or maybe it’s something more like the title of the Smashing Pumpkins’ hit song for the “Watchmen” trailer, “The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning” …

Yours truly,

Felicita Norris

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